Friday, February 5, 2010

NSD Unplugged - UPDATED

National Signing Day has come and gone, but the rumblings are still reverberating throughout the nation, like shockwaves after a modest earthquake.

But there is no devastation here. Trust me. The AllJackCrap and national spin doctors can regurgitate whatever bullshit nonsense they would like. I guess that’s what happens when your program is spurned by some high profile recruits who decided to go play ball with their BFFs instead of in Athens.

It hurts getting told no. Nickell Robey…hmmpf, whatevs. He woulda been a good kick returner that had the outside chance at growing into a dimeback. Da'Rick Rogers…he decided it was more important to go to a program that had a complimentary scholarship to give to his HS QB. His decision, his right. For me, I applaud Coach Richt for not venturing down that slippery slope. Scholarships to the University of Georgia are to be given premium value, never scalped on the streets in Calhoun, GA.

Lastly, BJ Butler. I’ve always agreed with CMR on the decision to never pull an offer to a kid once given. Stepping back from the perspective of one class at a time, recruiting is a PR game. Richt may be the dean of SEC coaches, but he’s still making inroads along the recruiting paths of our great state (read: Carver HS). Butler behaved in a way in which a scholarship should’ve been pulled. Him deciding a fresh start elsewhere was in everyone’s best interest.

After the pomp and circumstances in Butts-Mehre Wednesday I was wiped out. I barely made it through the basketball game (kinda wish I had given in to rest earlier) before retiring. So my analysis of this year’s class is later than others’. And they have done a more eloquent job than I could have. So I’ll just give you a few of those links, provide some additional commentary and then throw in a prognostication.

  • You are going to have a hard time not enjoying Ucheedawg’s three part series over at The Grit Tree on the small town recruiting experience last Friday in Rochelle, GA. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and check it out. Even if it means that report is a little late getting to the boss this afternoon. Part one, An Evening With Coach Richt starts it off, followed by The Bryan McClendon Perspective and Rural South Georgia Recruiting – The Fans’ Perspective.
  • Also check out the Signing Day Wrap by Ucheedawg.
  • Hale uses some reader comments to guide his Protecting Their Turf piece evaluating the Dawgs’ class this year and why it’s light on home grown talent….and provides a needs and analysis piece as well.
  • Towers sees some diamonds in the rough rankings.
  • Some great NSD coverage from ECDawg over at Leather Helmet, including a nice recap and this post about our newest 5 star LB.
  • With the news of floriDuh’s new DC taking in faxes Wednesday then clearing the office Thursday, Exhile smells reptile turds.

Back to the Butts-Mehre floor the tension was palpable, but the mood couldn't be dampened. Some grumbled but most couldn't let a trip to Heritage Hall be spoiled by a handful of teenagers. And in the end maybe most felt the way I did: I'd much rather CMR get the right defensive coach, even if it eventually meant losing out on some of the premium rated talent.

It amazes me how caught up in the recruiting rankings some people get. There's no trophy given out for first place in that race ladies and gents. Those rankings take subjectiveness and add a whole nutha level to it. Take my hand, don't be afraid and just throw those things out the door. Don't care what this class is ranked compared to others'. Actual tackle football games are won in the fall. Gimme a small class of kids that wanna be Georgia Bulldogs and you'll see me smile each and every first Wednesday in February.

Yet, even the idiots have voices. No sooner had CMR and Coach Searels answered the first question Wednesday on the health of Trinton Sturdivant, than a simpleton raised his hand for the next opportunity to speak. This guy had evidently read that Coach Richt and his staff were becoming complacent. He wanted to know if it was true.

And while the head coach handled it with his usual measure of aplomb, I can’t help but shake my head in disbelief. The man just fired his close friend, let go the same colleagues who helped him lift the SEC Championship trophy just a few years ago. And there are fans who think he’s complacent? Go back to your basement and suspend that message bored account for all that’s good on God’s green Earth.

Similarly, to get upset over a 17 year old’s decision and rant about it behind the mask of your computer screen is at best juvenile. Sure, it hurt getting spurned by so many talented players, some more than once. But it’s important to remember that Coach Richt signed a couple other recruits in addition to the 19 LOIs Wednesday.

When Coach Todd Grantham spoke Wednesday the energy picked up, the blood began to flow a little faster. If he can bring that energy to a group of fans with too much sick leave, then imagine what he’ll do to our defensive roster. And while Lakatos seemed somewhat surprised by the SEC fervor, he no doubt had the faith of the fans.

The winds of change surrounded the 1980 Nat'l Championship trophy Wednesday morning at 11:27am. I trust it'll spread to the huddled masses on the floor as well.

And also remember there’s one more scholly position open on CMRs staff. I think that by mid next week Travis Jones is moving to Athens…with a Super Bowl ring. And if I'm right...that would be a 6 star recruit.

Geaux Saints.


UPDATE (4:55pm): Warren Belin has been named a LB coach for Georgia. Belin comes from Vandy where he was their LB coach and recruiting coordinator.

Trivial Update "Cruitin is Crazee"

#ThursdaysRTrivial is coming up right after this PSA: The English Patient sucked. Bad. Real bad. (You're welcome)

#ThursdaysRTrivial ep. 31 "Cruitin' is Crazee" It's the Twitter Twivia game that's as legendary as the gum on the bottom of your shoe. With NSD in the rear view mirror, let's see how well-read you are tweep. REPLY back your answer for a chance at a fabulous prize. What TWO recruits did Coach Richt and Bryan McClendon see play hoops Friday night?

I don't know if it was google proof, but it was an answer that surely would prove a difficult find for your average Dawg fan. But...Ally ain't your average Dawg fan. It took less than three minutes for her to tweet in with the right answer, Nick Marshall and Lonnie Outlaw...coupla Wilkes Co. studs.

For her trouble, Ally gets the distinguished privilege of taking Catfish for his afternoon walk around The Grit Tree. The leash is over there next to the Royal typewriter.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

National Signing Day '10 Journal

Blogging live from Butts-Mehre! Check back throughout the day for updates on who's ink'd, videos, pics, doughnuts and who knows what else.

This is the day so many message "boreders" have fretted over, coaches have turned gray worrying about and I've used as another excuse to come to my favorite city in the whole world.

So prop your feet up, keep the F5 key within reach and let's GATA.

Some related readings while you wait on the fax machine to purr:
- Last year's journal
- Mackie weighs in on Da'Rick bashing
- Mike evaluates the muckraking at CMRs expense

5:14am Up a little earlier than usual, reading up on who's expected to sign.

5:15am quick note: if you have a question feel free to post it below. If I can't answer it, I'll either find someone who can or just fake it.

5:50am hungry. Need Waffle House. Now.

6:15am Egg n cheese sammich with em scattered smothered and covered. Yessiree!

6:20 back home for a quick "pit" stop.

6:31 another stop at QuikTrip. They're gasoline may be guaranteed but the sanity of your stomach after one of those breakfast selections under the heat lamp, not so much. Trust me.

7:02 roll of UGA letterhead fax paper to the reader that can tell me where this pic was taken (Update: FireGuy708 is the official winner. Enjoy the paper. Guess I don't need to tell you it's flammable...)

7:10 little known NSD fact, Rex Robinson used a red crayon to sign his LOI. Atta boy Rex!

7:17 about this time last year Branden Smith was faxing in his fresh ink and fleet feet to Butts-Mehre.

7:21 maybe it's nerves...or breakfast, but stomach's singing. Thank you ZanTac.

7:24 well known NSD fact, 30 years ago Herschel was no where close to making a decision.

7:36 Michael Bennett and Brandon Burrows ink in. Welcome gentlemen, we're glad you're here!

7:37 someone keeps stepping on the 960theRef feed. Annoying.

7:40 plenty of parking in the deck. Guess Da'Rick scared some fans off. In better news, not nearly as cold as last year.

7:45 they've got the student spaces blocked off this year. Maybe we can go w/o the threat of towing then.

7:49 entering hallowed halls..

8:07 some updated signings: Demetre Baker, TJ Stripling, Kolton Houston and Jakar "the Hitman" Hamilton.

8:08 update on doughnuts: selection is better than last year...but I'm avoiding them.

8:10 pic of Kelin and Chuck

8:15 Mackie tells me to give Dowdle the rabbit ears. I treat the suggestion like the doughnut table.

8:17 buzz developing on Thornton as we wait on his decision at 9:00.

8:24 Kenarious Gates gives us his signature. Word is his feet are as big as Dowdle's.

8:30 going to empty the bladder. You know, just in case Thornton does sign with us.

8:35 Chuck and Grantham talking Dawg. Then a clip of him leaving (mostly to test the video on this app).

9:01 word is floriDuh's class is about done. Guess they're all on work release today.

9:02 Thorton to Penn frickin State!?! WTF? (just rumor on the BM floor) Ambles to USC. Has the hots for Layla. Boone to LSWho, big surprise.

9:03 Marc Deas is a Dawg. As is Hutson Mason. Welcome to our Nation!

9:16 Dowdle struggling with the Ogletree signings, may have committed a KiffyBaby.

9:17 Crowd cheers when director allows Chuck to say both Alec and Zander have signed. Dowdle thinks they're cheering for him.

9:19 Agree with Hale, Akins to Central Florida really hurts. Ugh.

9:31 some video of the scene here

9:52 THORTON IS A DAWG!! Thank Gawd!

10:03 judging from the page views some of you need to be careful the boss ain't around

10:05 Garner sitting down with Dowdle. Chances he gets asked about the departures....slim and none.

10:07 sorry about the spacing around the pics. This app definitely has some kinks. And if the videos aren't working, I'll fix that asap.

10:10 listening in on some jackhole preach about how good a job Felton was doing. R U effin' kidding me?

10:13 Jalen Fields is a Dawg with some sacks in him. Welcome aboard!

10:20 PSA: if you parked at the Kangaroo across the street, the slushee will be a lot cheaper than the towing bill.

10:23 Telvin Smith may be wavering huh? Hmmm...

10:25 when visiting Butts-Mehre it's really uncool to lean against the cases. Bring a chair next year lightweight.

10:36 just saw on AJC that Smith stuck with FSU. If we had been able to steal Smith and Green from Noles that woulda made my day.

10:39 ticks me off they don't have these interviews mic'd. Are Hartman donations down that much that we can't afford technology from the 50s?

10:53 I'd tell u what Coach Baker is saying about the soccer team but I can't (really) hear what he's saying.

11:03 Bacarri Rambo getting ready for Kelin's questions

11:23 update on officials: Derek Owens, Ken Malcome and Brent Benedict.

11:25 still waiting on Bobo and Richt. Crowds a little more than half capacity I would guess.

11:27 Coach Richt takes the mic (that's only there for tv) and introduces his new hires. Says Water Girl should be back to full time since Jon is getting married. Won't comment on Da'Rick for obvious reasons ( but nice try dude). Searels says Sturdivant will be ready. Bobo says QB race is in good hands and that he's excited to have Mason. CMR also says Samuel is working out as a LB.

11:35 Big Dawg makes best comment when he pleads with Grantham to bring the junkyard back. CTG says if he does he expects a bark. Crowd obliges.

11:56 more updates and videos soon. I'm hungry!

CMR talking about off season and positions

1:35 Newberg on 680theFan says we're still in it for Christian Green. He'll choose between us and FSU at 3:30.

Here's CMR talking about the Ogletree twins

4:49 After attending parent/teacher conferences for my girls I emerge to surprising details. Champ Bailey asks me how our class is shaping up (via twitter).

4:50 check some updates and looks like Christian Green (FSU) did indeed slip through our grasp as did Adrian Coxson (floriDuh). Neither were big surprises, but Green really wanted to come to Athens. Sounds like it came down to location and friends.

4:51 BUT...looks like a very lanky, athletic WR did officially sign ($$) his Georgia LOI, Lonnie Outlaw (yes, you read that right). Downside is that he will attend GMC this fall. Not Athens. He'll actually need two years there to become eligible for UGA. But when he does officially become a Dawg, Outlaw not only enters the competition for the WR rotation, but also coolest name on the team with Baccari.

4:55 I guess WR becomes the position in question with this class. I'll have a more thorough evaluation up (probably Friday) later. But I think we addressed all of our needs.

9:02 Hoop Dawgs just lost, again. That means it's time for bed. What a day!

I should have a wrap-up post by Friday. Good night Reader.

- Posted using BlogPress from Bernie's iPhone

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Countdown to Signing Day…1 (UPDATED)

With just hours to go, let's break this down into what we know and what we can speculate.

What We Know
  • Jeff Whitaker is AwwBarn bound. The large, athletic DT became the latest headliner for Chizik’s class.mike thornton
  • Telvin Smith stuck with his commitment to the Noles.
  • Parking is gonna be at a premium tomorrow morning at Butts-Mehre. I may just go over and sleep in my car tonight. It’s not supposed to be cold is it?
  • UPDATE: Kentarious Gates of Greenville SC will not sign with Kentucky tomorrow. Instead he will become a Dawg at 11AM. Gates is a large young man (6'5" 298) that could play either guard or tackle.
What We Can Speculate
  • Robey is as good as gone. Word is Ol’ Man Kiffy has bent that ear pretty good.
  • Kadron Boone is seriously considering the Dawgs ($$). But I think he ends up in Baton Rouge. He’s probably decided by now, but will announce from his school at 4pm tomorrow.
  • Da’Rick Rogers will surprise everyone and stick with Coach Richt tomorrow. If I’m wrong the AJC might just get so giddy they piss themselves.
  • Michael Thornton hasn’t trimmed his list much, but visited Auburn, Georgia, Penn State, USC (the real one) and Kentucky. I think he chooses Athens.
Those are my humble opinions. What are yours?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday's Meatloaf - Don't Pick Your Nose at the Crossroads

There’s a moment in every blawgger’s life when he (or she…) must take a step back and gain some perspective. And if I know you as well as I think I do Reader, right now you’re muttering something along the lines of You’ve needed more than a little perspective for quite a while now Bernie.

Thanks. I feel the love.

But the reality is that just as Coach Richt pulled the trigger on some pretty big changes back in early December, I feel the need to address some things around here. I don’t want things to get stale. After all, stale meatloaf is about as worthless as warm beer (notice the emphasis on about).

No, I’m not gonna make a run at Kirby Smart to take Darren the intern's gig and I’m not gonna ask the wife to be the water girl. More importantly, I’m not going offline altogether. But after Wednesdays’ 2nd Annual Nat’l Signing Day Journal, you may notice lighter than usual posting for a few weeks. Looking for answers, pondering life's mysteries.

It’ll be like that peyote scene in Young Guns…


Today’s Ingredients
And as we zero in on the day half the Dawg Nation spends pretending it’s a Nat’l Holiday and the other half spends pretending to work on spreadsheets at their desk (it’s the F5 key Frank….), hope springs eternal.

Which makes you wonder, was Da'Rick Rogers humming Rocky Flop as he got slobbery with the HillBillys crystal?

Don't fret too much Reader. We knew an Orson only comes around once in a lifetime. And an AJ is even rarer.

But the meatloaf's not rare anymore. Here's your fork. Let it do some work.